Janet Grenzke

Janet Grenzke – Brief Article

Career Background

Member of the political science faculties at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts ’74-’88); Founded Abacus Associates in 1989; Worked in five countries and 29 states. Domestic clients have included: NEA and its affiliates in 18 states; U.S. Reps. Maurice Hinchey (D-NY), John Olver (D-MA) and Blanche Lincoln (D-AR).


Age, 53. Married to Greg Grenzke, a surgeon, for 32 years. One son: Jon Grenzke (24 years old). Ph.D. in political science, University of Michigan. Avid birder, mountain climber and traveler.

Claim to Fame.

“Building up a very successful national polling firm over the past 10 years, from scratch, all on my own, in beautiful western Massachusetts — although I received plenty of advice and assistance from other Democratic consultants, who make an effort to nurture newcomers in the field.”

Best Day

“Not the day my son was born — but there were some magical days in the 24 years that followed.”

Worst Pay

“The day after election day 1994 (even though we helped Maurice Hinchey squeak by).

Ten Years From Now

“Not working so hard; watching all the great movies I’ve not had time to see; birding in the jungles of Ecuador; enjoying a grandchild or two that I hope to have by then.

Immediate Goals

“Help the Democrats take back the House in 2000.”

Political Heroes

Elizabeth Stanton, Samuel Gompers, Robert Kennedy.

Secrets of Success

“Work very hard; agree on deadlines that you can meet or don’t take the job; be realistic about what is and is not possible; and work for causes you care about and for people you respect. It is better for you and your cause to produce high-quality work than to produce high volume of work.”

Biggest Gripe

“Those people who put dots in their dates (9.01.00) instead of dashes (9-01-00). I mean what is that all about? When did that start happening? Did I miss the memo on that?”

Favorite Books

The Poisonwood Bible, by Barbara Kingsolver; The Color Purple, by Alice Walker; A Sand County Almanac, by Aldo Leopold.

Favorite Movies

“Henry V,” “The Candidate,” “Wag the Dog”


U.S. Sen. Blanche Lincoln will become President someday.

Best Moment in a Campaign

“When I can help a client in a tough race find a winning message that turns the campaign around.”

Worst Moment in a Campaign

“When the opposition lies and we don’t have the money to respond.”

If I Were President for a Day

“Do a poll to see what the people think about me as president. Get very depressed from the results. Spend the rest of the day wandering the halls talking to pictures of past presidents.”

COPYRIGHT 2000 Campaigns & Elections, Inc.

COPYRIGHT 2000 Gale Group